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Unbelievable RC

Revell Piloto

May 2008

Street Price: $39.99 US
Manufacturer: Revell
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 8+
Our recommended age range: 16+
Recommended use: Outdoors
Radio: 27mhz
Includes:

  • Assembled plane
  • Transmitter / charger
  • Instructions
Requires:
  • 6 AA batteries for the transmitter

Initial Impressions

The Piloto aims squarely at the Air Hogs Aero Ace series of planes as its competition. It's a small, simple, lightweight plane for nearly any age. Unlike the Air Hogs planes, though, this one uses very thin, relatively rigid foam, and a single large motor & propeller rather than two:

 

At the rear, there's a real working rudder with a small electromagnet coil to steer it:

 
 

The painted/printed design on the plane looks good and it's an amazingly lightweight craft, but I worry that it feels really fragile. We'll see how it holds up once it gets in flight. Also, the controller is pretty large, really best for adult hands.

 

Preparing to Fly

No surprises here. The controller doubles as a charger for the plane, so you just put AA's in the controller, plug the jack on the controller into the plane, and wait for it to charge.

Testing

I was very happy to have a successful, long flight on my very first try. The Piloto is balanced and smooth in the air! It doesn't "porpoise" (raise up, stall, then dive down) at all. Everything about it seemed completely controllable and effortless, except when I cut the power altogether it did not glide well, instead diving pretty quickly. As soon as I'd give it power again, though, it would be all back to smooth flying.

Over the course of two battery charges, though, the mild shock of landing on rough park grass made one of the Piloto's upper wings start to crack near the base, and by the end of the last flight it was barely hanging on. The thin, crispy foam ended up being a real weakness after all. I tried to fix it with some lightweight tape, but the tape did not stick well and the crack proved to have grown too long to save the plane.

Video

(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)

Conclusion

The Revell Piloto is a great-flying, inexpensive plane, but it's a fragile little bugger. Especially with the large controller, I'd recommend that only adults fly it, and try to land in either soft lawn grass or on smooth tarmac. If you take these precautions, it's actually a great no-fuss plane for large indoor spaces or calm outdoor flying, which is why I'm not rating it too low for the breakage. I just would not recommend the Piloto for younger pilots.

B-

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